State Watch

26 governors condemn anti-Asian violence

A bipartisan group of 26 governors issued a joint statement on Friday condemning rising violence against the Asian American community.

The statement was signed by 24 Democratic governors, including Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero of the territory of Guam, along with GOP Govs. Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts.

“What is happening to Asian Americans is simply un-American. We condemn racism, violence and hatred against our AAPI [Asian American and Pacific Islander] communities, and we must do more to protect, lift up, and support the Asian American community,” the state executives said.

The statement comes as the Asian American community takes part in a “National Day of Action and Healing” a little more than a week after a series of shootings at Atlanta-area spas left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women.

The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, who is currently facing murder and aggravated assault charges, has claimed that he was seeking to eliminate “temptations” for his “sexual addiction,” though victims’ family members have cast doubt on that explanation and authorities are investigating if race played a role.

The shootings accelerated a national conversation about hatred against the Asian American community, which has been on the rise over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many have explicitly blamed former President Trump’s “China virus” and “Kung flu” rhetoric around the coronavirus for the rise.

While the governors’ letter doesn’t name Trump directly, it says that the “use of anti-Asian rhetoric” during the pandemic has fueled hatred against the community, pointing to a study from California State University in San Bernardino finding that anti-Asian hate increased 145 percent in 2020.

“As governors, we take care in protecting the people of our states and territories,” the statement reads. “The tragic loss of loved ones in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six Asian Americans, is part of a long and painful litany of acts of hate against Asian Americans across the community.”

Tags Anti-Asian bias anti-Asian discrimination Anti-Asian hate Atlanta shootings Atlanta spa shootings Charlie Baker Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic Donald Trump John Carney Larry Hogan Robert Aaron Long
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